Friday, January 31, 2014
That Awkward Moment
Zac Efron and Miles Teller play buddies and coworkers who seem to have it all goin' on. They're successful and a hit with the ladies. They don't want anything to do with a relationship and their biggest fear in life is when a woman says 'so, where is this going?' And Michael B. Jordan is their married pal whose marriage is on the rocks and he needs a little help getting back in the game.
Ahh, where to begin ... Well for one thing, the title is appropriate. This movie is filled with awkward moments, both intentionally and unintentionally. Some of the sophomoric humor is adequately amusing, but some of it falls painfully flat. I think it might have served the film to either go even more crude and consistently funny or a lot less crude and more romantic, because as is it falls awkwardly in the middle of a rom-com and a crass comedy.
As far as the story, you can see the character arcs coming a mile away. Spoiler alert: These hound dogs actually discover love and consider changing their chasing-tail ways. You'd have to be kind of a moron to not see that coming in the first 5 minutes actually.
But I think that most important to your viewing experience will be whether or not you connect to these characters. Personally I could not. Perhaps it's a generational thing and I'm too old, but these self-centered, arrogant man-whores and the sluts they get with, whose only thoughts in life seem to be about who they're going to bang next (despite having ultra-cool, hip, and financially rewarding jobs that miraculously don't seem to require any of their time or efforts) just got on my nerves. In fact, I kind of hated every character in the movie. Truth be told, I find Zac Efron to be pretty easy to hate. And Michael B. Jordan just seemed like a less fun Turk from 'Scrubs'. And while I loved Miles Teller last year, both in The Spectacular Now and 21 & Over, I think it's time to pull back the over-confident and arrogant but loveable Vince Vaughn-esque chatterbox thing and show us he has another side. It's called acting. But instead Teller ramped it up to the point of irritation.
So it probably sounds like I hated it. But no, I didn't hate it. Even with all of that said, it's better than a lot of the rest of the terrible January releases of late and at least provides a few laughs. Though I'm clearly not recommending it either. You're much better off revisiting Friends with Benefits or No Strings Attached.
Who is this movie for? Generation Z. Generations Y, X and older won't get it.